Monday, June 11, 2012

James Kluppelberg: A perfect storm: Junk (arson) science, a coerced confession and snitch testimony. Maurice Possley; Centre on Wrongful Convictions.

STORY: "James Kluppelberg: Junk science, coerced confession, and snitch testimony led to wrongful conviction," by Maurice Possley, published by Northwestern Law Centre on Wrongful Convictions, on June 6, 2012.

GIST: "Francis Burns, a Chicago Fire Department captain, testified that he went to the fire as part of a training exercise, not in an official capacity. At the time, suspicious fires were investigated by the Chicago Police Bomb and Arson Unit. Although the fire already had been officially termed accidental, Burns testified that he believed the fire was arson. He conceded that he took no notes, made no reports, and never told anyone of his belief, but he testified from memory that he saw burn patterns that indicated the fire was arson.........The petition alleged an avalanche of new evidence pointing toward Kluppelberg’s innocence. Glassco had recanted, saying not only that he did not see Kluppelberg coming and going from the building, but that it was impossible to see the Hermitage Avenue building from his attic apartment because another building stood in the way. Aerial photos confirmed the impossibility. Glassco also said that Kluppelberg had never admitted setting the fire and that he agreed to implicate Kluppelberg to escape prison time on the charges he was facing at the time. He also said he was angry at Kluppelberg at the time because Kluppelberg had begun dating Glassco’s former girlfriend. The evolution of arson science had shown that the burn patterns cited as evidence of arson by Burns did not reliably indicate that a fire was deliberately set. These "indicators" are now considered to have no valid scientific basis."
The entire story can be found at:


I am monitoring this case. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:
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Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.